Combine audios, sound recordings with Audacity

Need to combine two or more audio files, such as sound recordings, music songs? In an earlier post, we discussed how Mac users can combine voice memos using iMovie. Windows OS however doesn’t have an equivalent media editor which can help us join multiple sound recordings or audio files on PC. As a result, we have to download and use third-party apps in order to merge two audio or combine multiple tracks into one. Here we will use Audacity, one of the most popular free and open source audio editor, to consolidate several audio clips into one on computer.

Contents

About Audacity audio editor

Audacity is an easy-to-use audio editor can help you with that. It is free, open source and cross-platform. Audacity is available for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. The software has a clean and simple interface that is easy to use, even for those who are not familiar with audio editing software. Also has good support, with a large user community.

In this guide, we will use Audacity on a Windows PC to merge multiple audio files or sound tracks into one. If you are using Audacity on Mac, you may see some difference in appearance.  

Step 1. Import audio files to Audacity

Run Audacity on your PC. Go to File menu, choose Import > Audio, then select one or more files to add to the audio editor. You can drag and drop to select multiple songs, voice recordings or other audio files then import all of them at once. You can also use CTRL+click or SHIFT+click to select two or more files to load them together into the audio program.

Other than that, you can also select all the sound tracks or recordings in File Explorer, then drag and drop them to Audacity to quickly import the audio files.

Note that if you go to File > Open, and open the audio files, you will open all selected audio files in separate windows.

Step 2. Put audio files in the right order in Audacity

Once imported, you will see all audios are displayed in waveform in the vertical list.

Move audio tracks up/down

You might want to do this with background music, voiceovers, etc. To move an audio file up or down in the list, simply click the down triangle symbol before the music title or audio file name, then choose Move track up or down, to top or bottom from the drop-down menu list.

Audacity for windows move tracks up, down, top, bottom

Move clips horizontally

By default, all songs or sound tracks will start playing at the same time in the Timeline. You can however move a clip left or right in the Timeline to set where an audio file starts playing.

There are different ways to do this.

Method 1. Manually move a clip back and forth

To move a clip, simply drag and drop it using the Clip-handle (the light area with the rounded corners) at the top of the clip. Move the clip back and forth on the Timeline with your cursor to adjust the waveform to a specific time point.

move track in timeline of audacity on Windows computer

Method 2. Align tracks automatically

If you want to merge tracks end to end or play all segments or clips one by one in Audacity, click the Select menu, choose All from the drop-down menu, then click Tracks menu, and choose Align Tracks > Align End to End.

align audio tracks in audacity on windows pc

Combine multiple tracks into one

You can also put two or more songs or sound recordings in the same track one after the other. It is just like how we move a clip back and forth using the Clip-handle (the light area with the rounded corners) at the top of the clip. But drag a clip from one track and drop it to another track.

Step 3. Combine audios and save to computer

Click File > Export, then select one of the export options that suits your need the best: Export as MP3, Export as WAV, Export as OGG, Export Audio which more output format options in the following dialogue. Name the merge audio file, choose a location on your computer and save.

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